Sunday, December 30, 2018

Sudan protesters met with gunfire

Saturday, December 29, 2018

El Niño will bring deadly heat in 2019

There is an 80 percent chance a full-fledged El Niño has already begun and will last until at least the end of February 2019, according to the Climate Prediction Center at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The impacts of El Niño have been more severe in recent years because of global warming, and these impacts will be worse as temperatures continue to rise, according to a recent study in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
“With an El Niño, it’s entirely possible 2019 will be the hottest year ever,” said co-author Samantha Stevenson, a climate scientist at the University of California, Santa Barbara. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Missing from discussion of Syria pullout

To understand the human condition today, start with energy. If you do not think energy is the top of the chain, then turn off all your electricity for a week.

Energy runs economics (how we feed and shelter ourselves) and whoever controls energy has great power.

The governments of the world, in service of the top capitalists, are trying to get access to the huge reserve of easy-to-drill oil under Kirkuk, Iraq. But ISIS has made this difficult.

The US needs boots on the ground. It used KRG, that failed. They dumped it and used Iran-controlled Iraq government, that backfired. They were forced to use the Syria regime for "stability." During this time they cultivated the PKK. They pumped up nationalism to try to get Kurdish people to support them. This has failed as well.

Now, the US has to regroup. So they are withdrawing from Syria. This will fail also.

What's missing from the discussion? The developed world, the US especially, has an oil problem. There is so much concrete and steel infrastructure that cannot be converted. Many tens of trillions of dollars in debt have been bet on this system. What is their solution? To build more, and to fight more wars.

Friday, December 21, 2018

US crowing about 'beating' ISIS while it grows exponentially in Africa

Extremists are penetrating sub-Saharan Africa at an alarming rate, threatening states ill-prepared to deal with the resulting complex social and security challenge, western and African officials have said. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Will Green New Deal successfully address #climate or #energy problems?

Climate, energy, and economy are linked and there is no evidence of de-linking.

Climate solutions can be supply-side or demand-side.

There is confusion about demand. Some assume that demand is what we measure in the market. But what about those who don't come to the market? The Jevons principle means that as long as there is demand there can be no energy savings.

In any case, there are a billion people who are saving up for a car. Cars promote sprawl and growth. Until economy and climate are de-linked, that means a hotter earth [biosphere], regardless of what fuel is used.

What is a good demand-side solution? The money currently spent on oil wars could provide free public transit, free education, and free health care. This would cause birth rates to fall more quickly -- the most effective way to reduce demand.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

LA Metro CEO proposes free public transport for all in Los Angeles

Last week, Metro CEO Phil Washington endorsed a bold proposal: implement congestion tolls on drivers to make public transportation free. More:
Read more:

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Tropics losing forest at the rate of 40 football pitches per minute

In total, the tropics experienced 15.8 million hectares (39.0 million acres) of tree cover loss in 2017, an area the size of Bangladesh. That’s the equivalent of losing 40 football fields of trees every minute for an entire year.
Techonfix advocates want to build energy wasting carbon-capture plants while we are at the same time busy killing nature's plants.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Russia and US are rivals, not enemies

KATOWICE, Poland—The United States worked with Russia and Saudi Arabia on Saturday night to sideline climate science in U.N. negotiations, angering nations that say urgent action is needed for their survival.
The three countries and Kuwait blocked nearly 200 nations involved in the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change from “welcoming” a U.N. report in October saying that “unprecedented” action is required to keep warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and stave off worldwide hardship.

The banks and billionaire bond-holders run the world. They are constantly promoting anything that keeps us confused and divided. The propaganda war between Russia and the west is fooling a lot of knowledgeable people. The billionaires know not to repeat WWI, they let proxies fight, but do not step in to help the victims.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

What is fascism like?

The brutality of the Assad regime’s detention practices is not new. Forced disappearances, torture in detention, and extrajudicial killings were integral to Hafez al-Assad’s control over the country and his son has adopted a similar modus operandi. Since Syrians peacefully took to the streets to demand freedom in March 2011, tens of thousands of Syrians have been arrested and tortured; thousands reportedly have died in custody. Most of those arrested are “forcibly disappeared” — cut off from their families and loved ones, their locations and fate unknown. The Syrian Network for Human Rights estimates that 95,056 individuals remain forcibly disappeared today. 

All Luxembourg #publictransit to be #farefree starting this summer

Luxembourg is set to become the first country in the world to abolish all fares on public transport.

A new coalition government is taking office in the Grand Duchy with the promise of abolishing tickets on trains, trams and buses next summer. 

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Clear explanation of #jevons, and why #efficiency and #technofix make things worse

Taking this global perspective with respect to the economy, efficiency gains will do the exact opposite of what efficiency policy advocates claim it will do. If technological changes allow global energy productivity or energy efficiency to increase, then civilization will grow faster into the resources that sustain it. This grows the economy, but it also means that energy consumption and CO2 emissions accelerate.

CO2 emissions can be stabilized despite efficiency gains. But this is possible only if decarbonization occurs as quickly as energy consumption grows. At today’s consumption growth rates, this would require roughly one new nuclear power plant, or equivalent in renewables, to be deployed each day. 

Friday, November 30, 2018

No happy #technofix for agriculture

"Many changes that have occurred in agriculture make us more, not less, impacted by climate change," Lobell explained. "A lot of productivity-enhancing changes are more effective in good weather, and so the stakes for having good weather go up."
And that good weather, the report makes clear, is not on the horizon.

2nd Law, not 2nd amendment, should be our focus

Tim Garrett, professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Utah, sees climate change as a normal part of a cycle: everything that exists is born, grows, then ultimately collapses.
“This is just a normal part of life cycles,” Garrett said. “Our lives collectively are fantastic right now, but they are fantastic at expense of our environment, an environment we depend upon, and that will ultimately lead to our demise.” 

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Physicist shows human energy need directly tied to total historical accumulation of economic production

Here, it is shown both theoretically and observationally how the evolution of the human system can be considered from a surprisingly simple thermodynamic perspective in which it is unnecessary to explicitly model two of the emissions drivers: population and standard of living. Specifically, the human system grows through a self-perpetuating feedback loop in which the consumption rate of primary energy resources stays tied to the historical accumulation of global economic production—or p×g—through a time-independent factor of 9.7±0.3 mW per inflation-adjusted 1990 US dollar. This important constraint, and the fact that f and c have historically varied rather slowly, points towards substantially narrowed visions of future emissions scenarios for implementation in GCMs.

Human energy use generates heat. This heat will be generated in direct proportion to growth and maintenance of built infrastructure. It does not matter what fuel is used. Humans cannot grow themselves into a cooler earth.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Humans still making cars like there is no tomorrow

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

44 cities in Poland have fare-free #publictransit

When in 2012 the Free Trade Union “August 80” (WZZ “Sierpien 80”) started the campaign for free public transport in Poland, to fight against the increasingly frequent and high ticket price increases throughout the country, public transport was free in only two cities. Today there are 44 Polish cities that practice it, from the small town of Swieradow-Zdroj1 – 5,000 inhabitants, but invaded by tourists and their cars in high season, whose free public transport is common with the Czech city Nove Mesto pod Smrkem2 – to the canton of Lubin with a total population of 106,000.3 

Monday, November 12, 2018

Worldwide overproduction crisis, workers can't afford what they make

One point of confusion regarding whether today’s oil prices should be of concern is the fact that the maximum affordable oil price seems to decline over time. This happens because workers around the world increasingly cannot afford to buy the goods and services that the world economy produces. Inadequate wage growth within countries, growing globalization and rising interest rates all contribute to this growing affordability problem. To make matters confusing, this growing affordability problem corresponds to “falling demand” in the way economists frame the issues we are facing. 

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Survey shows 88% approval rating for fare-free #publictransit in Tallinn, Estonia

A scheme which was once seen as utopian had, by 2017, an 88 per cent approval rating in Tallinn (according to a survey conducted by market research company, Turu-uuringute AS – editor).
...The August 2018 figures show that the number of passengers on newly free routes increased by 33 per cent across the nation. In some counties, the number of passengers almost doubled.
I’ll leave the final words to the current mayor of Tallinn, Taavi Aas. “People who travel by bus are mostly lower-paid people, the young and the elderly. Someone going to work in a county centre 30 kilometres from where they live will save €700-800 per year. Critics of free public transport claimed these people do not exist – they are wrong.”

Thursday, November 8, 2018

US mayors, all talk, no action, on reducing car pollution

Even as the US in many areas is collapsing under the weight of autosprawl, US mayors are still putting more money into this losing proposition.
Unless new, affordable housing is placed in walkable, transit-adjacent neighborhoodswhere people can live without cars, the growth of cities will drive emissions even higher. This is especially true for the movement of goods. Sprawl doesn’t just lengthen commutes, it increases the distance of vehicular trips needed to make deliveries.
Unfortunately the infrastructure plan put forth by the Trump administration—if one can call it a plan—incentivizes car-centric development.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

US cannot defeat the Islamic State

The US is trying to bomb the IS out of existence.  But that's like trying to kill weeds by sprinkling water. The more they bomb, the more it grows. Meanwhile energy is being wasted.

Time for a new strategy. The US should end it's dependence on oil. The first step is to stop wasting it on cars. The second step is to end energy-wasting sprawl. The third is to make cities attractive so that people will move in and birthrates will drop, or drop faster.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Islamic State spoiling the plans of international capitalism by threatening Kirkuk oil

Below is a map of IS attacks for the last two weeks of October 2018. Because the world capitalists cannot get to the oil in Kirkuk, debt bubbles are in great danger of default.

The US cannot defeat IS. Every bomb means more recruits. In Africa, climate change is drying up food supplies and providing even more recruits.

There is a solution, though. The US could take the lead and spend $33B a year making all urban buses fare free. Another $33B would provide for all the new buses for increased demand.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

IS, MbS, and US shale oil, and ....debt.

Why is the capitalist world backing every conceivable thug and bombing the Islamic State like crazy. The answer is simple. A huge oil crash is looming:
Only nine of 33 shale oil exploration and production companies reviewed in the report cited above had positive free cash flow for the first half of 2018. This is even though prices had risen all the way from a low of around $30 in 2016 to the mid-$70 range by the middle of this year.

Forecasts for world oil supply depend on a sharp increase of production from the Kirkuk, Iraq fields. But the IS has made drilling there unsafe. So while waiting for their defeat, the US has ramped up shale oil. But US oil is being pumped with borrowed money. [see linked article]

MbS will stay, they need him. Fascism will be needed in the US. As for the IS, they cannot defeat it with bombs, because each bomb brings ten recruits.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Modern economics violates thermodynamics

More importantly, the traditional treatment of additive capital and economic consumption appears to violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Although sometimes overlooked, perhaps the most profound implication of the Second Law is that it forbids the existence of isolated systems, either in space or time. By necessity, everything is connected through dissipative flows, even if the connection is very remote.
Assuming the Second Law applies equally to human systems, it would seem problematic to treat something like physical capital as being purely mathematically additive, as is presumed in traditional treatments. A better perspective might be that the magnitude of civilization wealth lies in its connections or a network, insofar as network elements allow for the dissipative flows that sustain it. 

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Physics rules over economics

Climate change is a two‐way street during the Anthropocene: civilization depends upon a favorable climate at the same time that it modifies it. Yet studies that forecast economic growth employ fundamentally different equations and assumptions than those used to model Earth's physical, chemical, and biological processes. In the interest of establishing a common theoretical framework, this article treats humanity like any other physical process; that is, as an open, nonequilibrium thermodynamic system that sustains existing circulations and furthers its material growth through the consumption and dissipation of energy. The link of physical to economic quantities comes from a prior result that establishes a fixed relationship between rates of global energy consumption and a historical accumulation of global economic wealth. What follows are nonequilibrium prognostic expressions for how wealth, energy consumption, and the Gross World Product (GWP) grow with time. This paper shows that the key components that determine whether civilization “innovates” itself toward faster economic growth include energy reserve discovery, improvements to human and infrastructure longevity, and reductions in the amount of energy required to extract raw materials. Growth slows due to a combination of prior growth, energy reserve depletion, and a “fraying” of civilization networks due to natural disasters. Theoretical and numerical arguments suggest that when growth rates approach zero, civilization becomes fragile to such externalities as natural disasters, and the risk is for an accelerating collapse. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Dunkirk, France, fare-free buses increase ridership by 50 to 80%.

Studies have shown that in addition to reducing air pollution within the port city limits, free public transit has increased mobility amongst older and younger residents and increased feelings of freedom.
“I never used the bus before,” one passenger told The Guardian. “It was too much bother getting tickets or a pass. Now I leave the car at home and take the bus to and from work. It’s so easy.” 
The news outlet goes on to say that passenger numbers have increased between 50% to 85%, depending on the route. Passengers have also taken advantage of the public spaces by having more conversations with strangers. 

Friday, October 19, 2018

Why MbS will stay in power

A lot of people are engaging in wishful thinking. They are hoping that cutting up one's critics while still alive would cross a line that even the world's elites would not tolerate.

The opposite is true. This is just what they want. They love thugs. Then they can be "horrified" but benefit from the terror that the common people will suffer.

There is at least 50 trillion in cash and 150 trillion in debt.

Except for Kirkuk and what remains in KSA, cheap oil is gone. This cuts profits. So wealth is stored in cash and bonds. But debt just takes money out of what's left of productive economy and hastens the advent of default.

Hence the furious gas and oil wars. Well, not so much wars as civilian massacres. Because nations aren't fighting nations, it's the world elites, and the ten percent of people using 50% of resources, together against the worlds lower classes.

To keep their educated support in line, fascism is required. This is why MbS will remain.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

How can it be cheaper not to charge a user fee [fare] for urban buses and trams?

We show in our spreadsheet how reducing the externalities [hidden costs] of cars more than compensates for the lost revenue if fares are removed.

We call this a work-in-progress because there are many externalities we have not listed. Costs of #climate among them.
The first column is the total cost in the category to be examined. For example for a US city of 1M, public healthcare costs are calculated at 7,290,000,000, shown in the second column. Then the 3rd column is an assumption. For example, assume that free transit reduced health costs by 9 tenths of 1 per cent. Actually you may find studies that show that number could be much higher. So we took a low number, and still the savings are significant: 65,610,000, shown in column 4.

So on with the other categories until all the fare revenue lost is recuperated by savings in "car" costs.

Our sources are listed in another page of the spread sheet which can be found here.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

#climate to sharply increase poverty

...the world faces extreme weather events, food shortages, wildfires, dying coral reefs, droughts, floods and poverty for hundreds of millions.
To avoid this outcome, the world economy needs a transformation of unprecedented speed and scale, involving far-reaching changes in society. We have only 12 years, they say, to achieve it by making huge strides towards eliminating greenhouse gases arising from fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas. The report underlines the qualitative difference between the 1.5- and 2-degree reductions previously seen as less stark. The case for radical action is reinforced by its finding that on present trends we are heading for more than a 3-degree increase by 2100 – catastrophic territory. 

Why Russia and Saudi Arabia get away with murder

All projections for oil supply include a big boost from Iraq's Kirkuk field. However, in spite of incessant bombing, the area is not secure. The above film is shows the Islamic State is alive and well.

This means that oil shortage is a constant threat. This is what makes Russia and Saudi Arabia so powerful. They can destroy the US economy with the turn of a valve.

The US has trillions of dollars in liquid-fuel infrastructure. These are hard, fixed, assets. Roads, highways, bridges, suburbs, pipelines, tanker trucks, ports, ocean tankers, refineries, gas stations, parking lots, bureaucracy, car debt, car insurance, and on and on.

The US dependency on cars and sprawl is deep, wide, subsidized, and expensive. Above all, it is unsustainable. Unsustainable means: Can. Not. Continue.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

KSA message to the world: our critics are not safe anywhere

Regardless of the outcome of the Khashoggi situation. Even if it is a hoax. It makes little difference. The message to the world from KSA is plain: There is no safe haven for our critics.

KSA is getting shakier every day. Their three pillars are all wobbling.

1. Oil - running out
2. US Military protection - overstretched
3. Fake Islam - exposed

They are hanging by a thread and getting more desperate.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

#Autosprawl #meltdown

The US system of autos and sprawl has never been sustainable. Now the people of the US are learning what that innocent-sounding word means. It means cannot continue.

Cheap oil is over. The liquid fuel system is heavily subsidized. There are trillions of dollars of fixed infrastructure: roads, highways, suburbs, bridges, pipelines, refineries, road tankers, rail tankers, ocean tankers, military hardware, and much more.

Unsustainable. Can. Not. Continue.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Candidate calls for #freepublictransit in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Jurisdictions with free transit have seen increases in ridership, reduced commuting times, lower greenhouse-gas emissions and better service. A free system also offers savings through decreases in fare enforcement and collection costs; imagine what could be done with the millions the city spends each year on the Presto system.
Those who take a narrow view of public transit ask how we can possibly pay for transit without squeezing the riders. This question is never asked when we talk about expanding road infrastructure, for which we pay $50 million a year.
We don’t ask our roads to make profits. Why treat public transit differently?
Free transit would make our city safer for pedestrians and cyclists. Accessible public transit would increase access to employment, and participation in the social, political and cultural life of the city. Equitable and reliable public transit is a public good.
Changing the old ways at City Hall won’t happen overnight. We can start with free bus routes along Bank Street. We can start by guaranteeing free transit to those who need it the most but can’t afford it.
I have promised to fight for our city and that fight must include a move to a truly free and a truly public transit plan. 

Shawn Menard, a former senior staffer for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, is a candidate in Capital ward for Ottawa city council. Follow him at @Shawnmenard1 or

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Physics controls economics which controls politics

The underlying energy problem represents a conflict between supply and demand, but not in the way most people expect. The world needs rising demand to support the rising cost of energy products, but this rising demand is, in fact, very difficult to produce. The way that this rising demand is normally produced is by adding increasing amounts of debt, at ever-lower interest rates. At some point, the debt bubble created to provide the necessary demand becomes overstretched. Now, we seem to be reaching a situation where the debt bubble may pop, at least in some parts of the world. This is a very concerning situation.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Waste not, want not

On the free lunch of cheap oil, capitalism has triumphed in the US. After dismantling the urban streetcar system, a wasteful sprawl orgy of growth generated profits for decades.

Now, the people of the US are learning what that innocent-sounding word "unsustainable" really means.

Americans work all day Monday to feed the government, all day Tuesday to feed their cars, all day Wednesday to feed the bondholders, all day Thursday to feed their over-priced housing. Then they have Friday to catch up where they are behind on health, education, and repairs.

This all could be sharply mitigated by unwinding the sprawl machine. Start with fare-free urban buses. This will start a culture change with more room in the city, more political support for buses, and above all, falling birth rates that go with urbanization. 

Friday, September 28, 2018

Alarming methane levels

Peak methane levels were as high as 3.37 ppm on August 31, 2018, an ominous warning of the threat of destabilization of methane hydrates at the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean.

Mean global methane levels were as high as 1.91 ppm on the morning of September 20, 2018, at 293 millibar.

This is a level unprecedented in human history and it far exceeds the WMO-data-based trend (added on the right of above image).

Friday, September 21, 2018

Public transit can reduce traffic fatalities up to 40%

Cities with higher public transit use can dramatically cut their road traffic death rates, according to a newly-released data analysis. The American Public Transit Association (APTA) and Vision Zero Network have partnered to boost public transit use, and published an analysis intended to support city leaders in creating safer cities. Its findings show that metropolitan areas with higher public transportation use – among modes such as heavy rail, light rail, frequent bus service and commuter rail – can cut their traffic fatality rate up to 40 percent.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Wars in Mideast are because of US desire to control oil market

In a bid to mend fences with Ibn Saud by enabling the company to compete in the thirsty European market and to extend his influence into Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon, which gained their independence soon after the end of the war, the U.S. government proposed building a Trans-Arabian Pipeline from the Saudi oilfields to the Mediterranean coast. Although Tapline, as the pipeline was known, would ultimately be financed by Aramco itself, the project had always been strategically attractive in Washington. By making Saudi oil cheaper than American oil in Europe, the pipe would ensure that the Saudis would now fuel Europe’s postwar recovery, while the United States conserved its domestic stocks of oil in case there was another war.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

How does Russia wield power far beyond it's economic size?

Economically, Russia is no bigger than New York City. Yet it is a major player in the world.


  • Gas and oil. Enough to tweak the balance of the whole world economy
  • Not picking fights with China
  • Totalitarianism. Political power tightly concentrated
  • Willingness to bomb civilians
  • No concern for appearance of democracy or rights

Monday, September 17, 2018

Estonia bus ridership soars with introduction of fare-free idea

...On the other hand, Southeast Transport Centre board member Sander Saar observed that while it was previously thought that the bus schedule was the issue — that bus times weren't a good fit for riders — the increase in ridership following the introduction of free transport supports the fact that it was ticket prices that were a greater issue for riders.
For example, county bus ridership on year increased 56% in Viljandi County, 32% in Põlva County and 16% in Võru County, indicating that one goal of the introduction of free public transport, to halt the drying up of bus services in rural areas, has been achieved....

UN - Concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are at their highest level in three million years

Mr Guterres said he was alarmed by the paralysis of world leaders on what he called the "defining issue" of our time.

He wants heads of government to come to New York for a special climate conference next September.

The call comes amid growing concerns over the slow pace of UN negotiations.

Mr Guterres painted a grim picture of the impacts of climate change that he says have been felt all over the world this year, with heatwaves, wildfires, storms and floods leaving a trail of destruction.

Corals are dying, he said, the oceans are becoming more acidic, and there are growing conflicts over dwindling resources.

Concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are at their highest level in three million years.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Germany studies #freepublictransport as a solution to air pollution? Should be obvious

In 2015 and 2016 Germans were shocked to discover that VW, their largest car manufacturer had been dramatically understating the level of toxic tailpipe emissions. At the same time, the European Union, which estimated that this life-threatening pollution affects 130 European cities and causes about 400,000 early deaths, was finalizing a directive that will force cities to reduce these emissions or pay heavy fines. 
In February, in a letter to the EU environment commissioner three German ministers wrote, “We are considering public transport free of charge in order to reduce the number of private cars.” The proposal will be tested by “the end of this year at the latest” in five cities across western Germany, including former capital Bonn and industrial cities Essen and Mannheim.
Really? They need a study? Yes because of power of oil, auto, and sprawl profits.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Energy shortage effect on economy

I see a strange coincidence between when coal production peaked (hit its maximum production before declining) in the United Kingdom and when World War I broke out. There was an equally strange coincidence between when the highest quality coal peaked in Germany and when World War II broke out. A good case can be made that inadequate energy supply is associated with conflict and fighting because leaders recognize how important an adequate energy supply is.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Dunkirk, France, happily chooses fare-free #publictransport over new sports arena

In 2011, Dunkirk, located on the northern coast of France, raised by half a percent a tax on regional businesses to pay for the then-mayor’s pet economic development initiative: Doubling the capacity of a local sports arena at a cost of more than $300 million.
Which prompted Patrick Vergriete to run for Mayor in 2014 on a promise to use that money to make transport free for the 200,000 people on Dunkirk’s network.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Tallinn, Estonia, very happy with fare-free public transport Five years later Allan Alaküla, head of Tallinn’s EU office summed up the current situation. “So the city budget has gained, service quality has improved constantly and in the surroundings of Tallinn, the demand for public transport has increased…People in other parts of Estonia started to demand free public transport, too,” he told HuffPost.
Fare-free public transport has been so successful in Estonia's city of Tallinn, that it has spread to the rest of the country. 

Monday, September 10, 2018

In general, in the US, #publictransit is poor. One exception, Chapel Hill, NC, where it is fare-free At the time, most of Chapel Hill Transit’s revenue was coming from the University of North Carolina’s paying for transit for its employees and students. The university agreed to pay a little more and Chapel Hill and Carrboro kicked in the rest to cover the 20 percent of the transit costs not paid by tickets.
“We look at it as a pre-paid fare program,” Brian Litchfield, interim director of Chapel Hill Transit, which serves both cities, told Eric Jaffe of CityLab in 2013. “The university is pre-paying for all their employees and students to ride. The town of Chapel Hill and Carrboro are pre-paying their fares via property tax and vehicle registration fee. So while there’s not a fare to get on the bus, it’s definitely not a free system.”
The program has been phenomenally successful. Ridership increased from around 3 million passengers a year in 2002, to about 7 million in 2013.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

What's different about Syria?

For a period longer than World War II, the government of Syria has been bombing and torturing its own people.

The capitalist system has created a monster. Seven billion people, with 10% living a wasteful existence that uses 150% of the worlds resources every year.

This system is unsustainable. The only solution is to deflate it, default the debt, and reduce the waste.

They can't do this because the system is one of competition, and if anyone drops out, his place is immediately filled by a competitor.

In Syria, we have the flash point of this war. A war between the energy haves and have-nots. Syria is strategically placed for fossil fuel sources and routes. Regional 'stability' will be maintained, no matter who has to die.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

The solution to capitalism is not more capitalism

The entire discussion about climate change adaption continues to revolve around saving all of civilization, which is utterly ridiculous. It also presupposes capitalism as the solution when it was the cause. All of the elements that created a climate on steroids need to be abandoned. That is the conversation that should be undertaken.
We do not need more power, more infrastructure, more people, more money, more resources, we need less of all of these things. And we need to evolve our civilization to using less, abandon the ideas of saving the present civilization because we cannot - and because we should not. Why keep repeating the same mistakes of the past?
Human civilization must adapt if we are to survive at all, of which there is serious doubt, a 4C temperature increase destroys all food crops - and water supplies will either be far too much in the form of deluge and flooding, or far too little, in the form of extreme drought. The idea that we can maintain the same infrastructure, resource usage and population in a non-stable climate is absurd. We must adapt everything we've come to accept.

Even "cities" are obsolete in the new world. They are not self-sustaining and require massive energy and resource inputs - and have enormous carbon footprints (by industry, business, per capita, at all levels).
Start thinking of climate change as "forced evolution" at break-neck speed and apply this to civilization. If humans survive, it won't be because we held onto old concepts and ideas. We will be forced to radically re-engineer everything. ~Survival Acres~
Posted anonymously on resourceinsights

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Carbon offsets do not work

"Assume I broke my (self-imposed) seven-year refusal to fly, paid my £35 offset and boarded a plane from Manchester to London for the conference. In doing so, I add to the already severe congestion at airports, causing delays and allowing politicians to argue for greater airport capacity, arguments only reinforced by the rise in passengers turning to offsets. To meet increasing demand, airlines are encouraged to order new aircraft, which they promise will be more efficient. Feeling pressure, a future government approves new runways, but the extra flights and emissions swamp efficiency gains from the cleaner engines.

Meanwhile, in an Indian village where my offset money has helped to fund a wind turbine, the villagers now have the (low-carbon) electricity to watch television, which provides advertisers of a petrol-fuelled moped with more viewers, and customers. A fuel depot follows, to meet the new demand, and encourages others to invest in old trucks to transport goods between villages. Within 30 years, the village and surroundings have new roads and many more petrol-fuelled mopeds, cars and trucks. Meanwhile, the emissions from my original flight are still having a warming impact, and will do for another 100 years or so."
Kevin Anderson quoted on Redd-Monitor 

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Arctic latent heat buffer is gone

arctic-news The loss of this sea ice indicates that the buffer is gone. Sea ice acts as a buffer that absorbs heat, while keeping the temperature at the freezing point of water, about zero degrees Celsius. As long as there is sea ice in the water, this sea ice will keep absorbing heat, so the temperature doesn't rise at the sea surface.

Once the buffer is gone, further energy that enters the Arctic Ocean will go into heating up the water. The amount of energy absorbed by melting ice is as much as it takes to heat an equivalent mass of water from zero to 80°C.

Latency - after ice gone, water heats much faster

 Albedo - white ice reflect more radiation

Friday, August 31, 2018

World capitalism against the energy have-nots

Ten percent of the world uses fifty percent of the energy and resources.

Capitalism must have a large pool of unemployed to keep wages down. To maintain such a pool requires that there be about 5 or 6 poor family members for every unemployed potential worker.

Now capitalism has reached the end of cheap oil. There are no profits, only rent.

All major governments are controlled by capitalist groups of bankers and billionaires. These are now all aligned against the poor people in Idlib, Syria.

They intend a massacre. As was the case with the atomic bombings of Japan, the purpose is to tell the poor and middle classes not to fight back.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Study shows that we could reduce car deaths, but choose not to

  • Cities that make public transportation use a higher priority could reduce traffic fatalities by up to 40%, according to a study by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).
  • The analysis, co-authored by the Vision Zero Network, found cities with more transit use have fewer deaths, and that traveling by public transportation is 10 times safer per mile than traveling by car.
  • "One of the most powerful traffic safety tools a city can employ to eliminate deaths and injuries due to road traffic crashes is its public transportation system," APTA President and CEO Paul Skoutelas told reporters on a conference call. "It takes just a modest increase in public transit use to result in a dramatic decrease in traffic fatalities."

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Elites sow division as their ship approaches next iceberg

The US elites divide people
  • racism - police murders and racist marches
  • gender - (incel meme, me-too 'backlash')
  • generation - x vs y vs boomer
  • gun 'debate' - the real gun question is how to define 'responsible' gun owner
Fake school shootings are created from security drills and used to test the ability of the corporate media to overcome social media and control what people believe. They want people begging for harsher government.

The elites know that the next bubble burst will bring unemployment to 30%. There is just no future in a system where half the office workers are keeping track of debt.The US system is based on $trillions in liquid-fuel infrastructure.
  • pipelines
  • tankers, road, rail, water
  • refineries
  • roads, highways
  • suburbs
  • military
  • fracking and drilling rigs
  • health costs of cars, collision, pollution
There is too much deferred maintenance and debt, and too little cash flow.When public services start falling apart, people will start fighting back. They want them divided as much as possible.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Why is the US afraid of Russia? [Hint: It's not,but...]

Since the autosprawl bubble burst in 2008, nothing has been done to prevent another crash.

The US, and much of the capitalist world, is piling up unsustainable debt.

Russia is an oil/gas company with a ruthless thug-controlled security system.

World fossil fuel operates on a thin margin. Everyone thinks there is a glut, but it would only take one day of Russia gas tap closure to create an economic disaster for the EU.

The US is not afraid of Russia militarily, but cannot afford the fight.

Friday, August 24, 2018

In the US, many colleges provide fare-free #publictransit

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Bakersfield College students with a valid student ID can now ride Kern Transit Routes free of charge.
According to Kern Transit, students will not have to struggle with traffic or find parking and can focus on their studies as they commute to school.
Kern Transit adds, by using public transit, students will also help limit emissions, and in turn improve the air quality in the central valley.
Another college added to the long list of US schools that provide fare-free public transit for their students. These cases are presented as helping the students, and they do. But behind the scenes, the colleges find that making a deal with local transit is cheaper than building and maintaining parking lots and managing traffic.

Look here for lists of colleges and other locations with free transit.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Headlines in November: "Will China bailout US government?"

artificial intelligence meets thermodynamics

Imagine a young man sitting at his computer terminal writing fake news or creating fake audios. All of a sudden, the lights flicker and the power goes down intermittently. Why? No one seems to know, but he hears rumors that there are chronic fuel shortages at the power plants. He hears other rumors that the power plants are having trouble getting spare parts. 
Then he decides to buy a new and fancier computer screen. But there are none in the stores. Why? Well, no one seems to know — but there are rumors that the supply chains to Asia are starting to fail. 
He then calls the company that provides support for his AI software. There is no reply — they seem to have gone out of business. Why? No one seems to know. 
He now realizes that he and his family don’t have enough food to eat and the grocery store shelves are bare. 
At this point the news is far from fake. The harsh truth is that he is hungry, frightened and totally unemployable.
ChemEng  on Resource Insights

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Where is the front line in the fight against fascism? [hint: not on CNN]

Here is an example of a local fight for public transit. This is the most important fight.
www.idahopress I often hear people complain that Nampa has lousy public transit. The buses aren’t frequent enough, don't come close enough to my neighborhood to even be a reasonable option and really...who wants to stand in the cold or the blazing sun waiting for a bus?

You need to realize that this is NOT the fault of Valley Regional Transit. Funding for VRT comes from many sources, including support from each city they service. Caldwell, Boise, Meridian, BSU, CWI all "get it" and have voted to fund VRT at the level needed for the next year.

Instead, Nampa's council chose to cut funding and demand more service from VRT. This follows multiple presentations from VRT showing them the facts; recent surveys where Nampans indicated public transit should be improved; and a city health assessment revealing that transportation was one of four issues due to the large number of people who cannot afford a private vehicle.

Our council's plan for transportation is to simply spend millions of dollars for more roads, lanes, signals. In light of current and future growth, this single-minded approach is shortsighted and irresponsible.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Free street parking. Extremely valuable public space given away free to cars.

theweeklynabe The average cost of residential space in my zip code is $892 per square foot. That means the total value of the street space that the city gives away for free is nearly $9 million. And that’s on my block alone.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Estonia #freepublictransport shows sharp rise in ridership According to the Road Administration's public transport statistic, the number of passengers across all counties that introduced free public transport on 1 July this year has increased by 20%. In Ida-Viru County, passenger numbers almost doubled.

The introduction of free public transport has increased the number of passengers by 92% in Ida-Viru County. Kirke Williamson, in charge of the Road Administration's public transport department, told ERR that the changeover to the state-funded free transport scheme has been smooth, and that it has had a positive effect on passenger numbers everywhere it was introduced.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

How can your city save a lot of money on car costs?

Your city will actually save money by making buses fare-free. What you are not being told is that much of your city's operating budget and infrastructure is to support cars. Even a lot of things that you might think are for bikes or people are actually built to get them out of the way of cars.

Reducing car use would save a lot of money. Every time you fill your tank you are exporting money out of town. Think about it.

for more detail read here or here.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

#technofix futurism selling snake oil

resourceinsights So, as this existential problem literally burns our forests, scorches our crops (thereby threatening a global food crisis) and brings drought to those thirsting for water and floods to those who already have too much—even as we continue down this path of destruction, the artificial intelligence labs and 3D printing equipment makers are predicted by futurists to be racing forward to a future that doesn't include the possibly fatal ravages of climate change.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

McPherson Paradox: Economic collapse will lead to sudden temperature rise

Add these together:

existing high global average temperature
no arctic ice
more frequent El Niño's
grain harvest failure
financial collapse
economic collapse
result: sudden temperature rise

When particulates [air pollution] are no longer being put into the sky in sufficient quantity. More heat will be allowed to hit the surface of the earth. Sudden warming will result.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

US fascism will come from the center, not the right

The US billionaire elites are using their corporate media (including entertainment) to whip up division and distrust.

Through propaganda and distraction, the American people are prevented from drawing the connection between car-dependent culture and economic collapse. They cannot figure out that the source of the problem is also what they desire the most, the peaceful leafy suburb.

When it is needed, full suspension of "rights" will come with a liberal-center flavor. It will discipline the annoying "right wing," but it will implement a Syria-like regime.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

When given a clear choice, Americans consistently elect more and better #publictransit

masstransitmag The voters of Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township expressed their strong support for public transportation services by overwhelmingly voting to renew and restore a 0.7 millage transit levy. With more than 90 percent of the precincts fully counted, over 83 percent of the votes were in favor of the millage.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Billionaire elites using time-tested strategy with Trump

They have done it many times throughout history. Ruling elites hire a thug, outside of their circle. He then deceives the people in this way: He rants and raves against his employers, and stirs the anger of the oppressed people.

Then he conflates the injustice of the elites with some oppressed minority, thereby diverting the anger of the people. In the meantime he commits all sorts of atrocities that need doing by the elites.

Then when he is done, they dispose of him in whatever way appropriate and take credit for undoing the monster [that they hired.]

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Heat wave "slashes" wheat harvest Global wheat prices have soared to multiyear highs as a heat wave sweeping across Europe and Asia slashes forecasts for this year’s harvest.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Airline industry classifies oil as "green" ICAO has managed to undermine its already pathetically weak carbon trading scheme. ICAO gave in to lobbying from Saudi Arabia and the United States and included “lower carbon conventional fuels” in the definition of “sustainable” aviation fuels. According to ICAO, then, “green fuel” includes kerosene as long as it is produced in an oil refinery running on renewable energy.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

What the end of cheap oil means for capitalism

Cheap oil allowed:
  • fast population rise
  • extensive liquid fuel infrastructure
  • economic growth
  • global warming blanket of carbon
Cheap oil is over. Now what? 
  • no more profits
  • mass unemployment
  • consolidation of power and wealth
  • end of human rights

Monday, July 30, 2018

Can one be a socialist and support slaughter abroad?

Socialism is growing quickly in the US. The obvious benefits of things like single-payer medical insurance are catching on.

But what about oil? The US is locked in to $trillions in liquid fuel investment. There is no sign of any change from that. This requires them to make deals with the devil to maintain control of oil markets.

What is the point of improving the lives of Americans if it means more slaughter abroad.

The real battleground for justice in America is in your local public transit debate.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Gollyworld, where technology allows infinite growth

The technofix crowd tries to convince us that growth can go on. Here is a good response from Richard Heinberg of the PostCarbon Institute. Nordhaus seems to think we are exceptions to the rules. Still, as archaeologists have affirmed, many past human societies consumed resources or polluted environments to the point of collapse. Granted, societies have failed for other reasons as well, including invasion, over-extension of empire, or natural climate change. Yet in cases where societies depleted forests, fisheries, freshwater, or topsoil, the consequences were dire.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Fire rages in the arctic, but humans keep building cars and fighting over oil Temperatures this month reached 86 degrees Fahrenheit well inside the Arctic Circle in Sweden, where the worst fires the country has seen in decades are now burning. More than 50 fires have ignited across the country, forcing evacuations. Finland and Norway are also fighting flames.

No silver bullet?

We hear this a lot. There is no silver bullet. In other words, there is no simple solution to the problems of energy and climate.

Not true!

If a critical mass of cities and towns make their urban buses and trams fare-free, then there will be a radical change.

Energy waste will be immediately reduced.

Sprawl and growth would be crippled.

Humans might have a chance.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Car-dependency is US Achilles heel

If the US people protest enough, the elites will change out Trump for another. But as long as the US is dominated by car-dependent autosprawl, the oil industry will still be the horse that the bankers ride.

Don't fall for the Russia collusion hype. Of course, there is collusion, but it is not just Trump. It is the top US elite. Why? They need to control the world oil/gas market. Russia and Iran provide the boots on the ground.

Russia projects power beyond its economic size for several reasons:
  • large oil/gas reserves
  • willingness to slaughter civilians
  • autocratic government
US would gain nothing from a very expensive war with Russia.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Americans kill each other over parking. #Autosprawl #collapse Now seated on the ground, Drejka reached into his pocket, pulled out a pistol and fired a single shot into McGlockton’s chest, an action shown clearly on surveillance video released by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

People in Iraq protest corruption, unemployment, and shortages of water and power

Thursday, July 19, 2018

No human alive after 2025. The McPherson Paradox

As civilization grows, it produces more heat, which will kill us. If it collapses, then particulates will fall and more sunlight will come in and kill us. This is the McPherson Paradox. #neartermhumanextinction

Monday, July 16, 2018

Crop failure in EU

bloomberg He’s one of many farmers battling for survival after a heatwave and drought swept across northern parts of the continent, damaging crops from wheat to barley. Many German growers could go bankrupt if they suffer another crop failure, and too much rain in France is set to reduce output there. All combined, it’s shaping up to be the bloc’s smallest grains harvest in six years.

What no corporate media will say about US/Russia relations

Russia and US are not enemies, they are rivals. Here is what they are preparing for:
  • Continued rapid growth of Islamic State
  • Agriculture disasters from heat
  • Debt defaults
  • Sudden mass unemployment

Sunday, July 15, 2018

People of Haiti fight back against energy price rise

Reports differ on how many people have been killed in riots — at least two, three or seven — that happened over the last weekend. Demonstrators reportedly blocked roads, burned tires and vandalized shops.
The government announced on Friday, July 6 that prices would go up the following day by 38 percent for gasoline, 47 percent for diesel and 51 percent for kerosene.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Disappearance of Arctic Sea Ice

arctic-news The image on the right shows sea surface temperatures on July 6 for the years 2014 to 2018 at a location near Svalbard (at 77.958°N, 5.545°E), with an exponential trend added based on the data.

Civilization is a heat engine But searing daytime highs were not the only feature of the unusual heat wave. As temperatures stayed sultry throughout the night, they posed a threat to human health because the body is less able to recover from the heat of the day.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

How does US tight-oil investment defy gravity?

resourceinsights Now here is what peak oil thinkers couldn't foresee: That investors would subsidize the production of vast amounts of oil rather than seeking a return on their capital and that they would do this year after year even in the face of the obvious financial evidence. Essentially, Wall Street has been subsidizing the consumption of oil on Main Street.
Ask yourself, did the bank bailout not also defy all economics? Of course, the tight-oil investors are backed by implicit bailout guarantees. Why? They are investing in the whole American system. 

Friday, July 6, 2018

Humans note massive heat wave, but quickly return focus to profits The U.S. wasn't the only country where typically milder climes faced scorching heat. In Canada, Montreal recorded its highest temperature since it began keeping records 147 years ago. Thermometers rose to 97.9 degrees on July 2, and the city also suffered its most extreme midnight combination of humidity and heat. The heat wave in Eastern Canada has turned deadly, killing at least 19 people in Quebec, 12 of them in Montreal, RTE reported Thursday.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Oil trolls in desperate search for negatives of fare-free urban public transport

Oil trolls in corporate media are scrambling desperately to find ways to declare fare-free urban transport to be unworkable.

So far, all they got is one professor who keeps asserting there is no empirical evidence that fare-free transport reduces driving.

We have a whole blog of evidence. Ridership up, unit costs down, people happy.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

#Renewables just add fuel to the fire

Tverberg Of the 252 million tons of oil equivalent (MTOE) energy consumption added in 2017, wind added 37 MTOE and solar added 26 MTOE. Thus, wind and solar amounted to about 25% of total energy consumption added in 2017. Fossil fuels added 67% of total energy consumption added in 2017, and other categories added the remaining 8%.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Free public transport brings many benefits in Estonia

Tallinn - Mr Savisaar said the European Union institutions are monitoring the experience of Tallinn and other cities that have transferred to free public transport with a serious interest and they very often ask at international forums why does Tallinn offer public transport for free.
“Actually, it would be more appropriate to ask why the majority of the cities in the world still do not provide free public transport. How to justify the subsidy rate reaching 60-70 per cent and sometimes even higher paid from the public budget for a public service, which due to its cost is still not available for many people. If we considered public transport worthy of such a subsidy, we must ensure that all people wishing to use it could do so,” Mr Savisaar said.
On the example of Tallinn, it could be said that, above all, public transport gives new opportunities for people with average and low income. “The employment rate in the city has improved, as free transport extends the area of job search in the city. The fact has at least the same important side for the employers as well – finding the potential required labour is cheaper and they need fewer investments in parking spots for private vehicles.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Americans do not have the understanding needed to prevent fascism

People are noticing that the conditions in the US are drifting to fascism, and are asking how to stop it.

A lot of people think that as long as the middle class has some rights there is hope to turn things around.

But very few understand that the US is locked in to a liquid fuel system. The economics of unwinding trillions of dollars worth of fixed, hard, autosprawl assets do not compute. Even a financial crash would not be enough.

This is the power behind the racism and inequality. As long as a significant number of people see the leafy suburb as a goal. There will be no relief. 

Monday, June 25, 2018

Wet Bulb Temperature Soon to Become Leading Cause of Death

“In a recent study with Matt Huber, we showed that it doesn’t take that many degrees of global warming to permit peak heat summertime heat stress to (occasionally) become unsurvivable, in many parts of the world that are currently highly populated.”
Kevin Hester blog 

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Oil wars, this is why we have them.

This is the front line of the oil wars and the struggle to save the biosphere. This should be the main topic on all media. But we get distraction instead.
NYT In places like Nashville, Koch-financed activists are finding tremendous success.
Early polling here had suggested that the $5.4 billion transit plan would easily pass. It was backed by the city’s popular mayor and a coalition of businesses. Its supporters had outspent the opposition, and Nashville was choking on cars.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

911 has been the excuse for millions of deaths, is it worth an hour of reading?

Wikispooks Discounting the Official Narrative as the absurdity it so clearly is, there are just two organisations on the entire planet with the expertise, assets, access and political protection necessary to have both executed 9/11 and effected its cover-up to date (ie the means). Both are Intelligence Agencies - the CIA and the Israeli Mossad whose motives were arguably the most compelling. Those motives dovetailed perfectly with the Neocon PNAC agenda, with it's explicitly stated need for "...a catastrophic and catalyzing event - like a new Pearl Harbor" [1] in order to mobilise US public opinion for already planned wars, the effects of which would be to destroy Israel's enemies.
Agree or disagree but be informed. A word to the wise, there are a lot of "crazies" putting out theories. They are likely red herrings, things for you to chase and find nothing. Just skip over and look for what makes sense to you.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Yellow school buses are a subsidy for cars and sprawl

So many things that we think are for pedestrians, bicycles, or even education, are actually for cars. Because the US is so sprawled out and devoid of public transit, school districts have to support expensive school bus service. In the city, that sprawl subsidy is not so necessary.
WaPo: Because the District doesn’t have a fleet of yellow school buses, students ride public transit free. Still, they have to tap their DC One cards to board Metrorail or buses so the city can monitor how many are using the system, which helps the agency qualify for more federal funding.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Sorting through propaganda

If you get most of your news from TV or American entertainment industry, stop reading here.

Are you confused even after searching social media for truth?

Start with energy. Energy runs everything. The cheaper the energy the more they fight over it. Economics is subservient.

In economics profits run everything. It's hard to find profits now, the masses have been impoverished and demand is falling. This increases the wars for cheaper energy. Politics is subservient.

In the elites, the banks are on top. They use nations for their military power. Fights between nations are rivalry, not class struggle.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Cost of #freetransit $30B, Cost of #climatechange $300B.

theweek : "NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information estimates that 2017 was America's most expensive year for climate disasters of all time, with 16 disasters costing over $1 billion (more than three times the 1980-2017 average, after accounting for inflation) and a total cost of over $300 billion. That's about 1.5 percent of total GDP ...."

Dr. Guy McPherson shows how ownership has brought us to the edge of extinction

On Ownership: "Contemporary neoclassical economists proclaim a contrary message. The rising tide of economic prosperity, they say, floats all boats. Blinded by the ridiculous assumptions of an experiment gone horribly awry, they continue to promote the pathological system that has led to our extinction. Driven by the love of money and its underlying monetary system, they will continue to benefit from the system until, surprisingly to them, it no longer delivers power to them."